About us


We are Highways and byways 

Healing the Land, Healing Ourselves, Together

We support people and communities experiencing hardship and disadvantage, especially in rural Australia. We do this through our Annual Grants Program and through longer term initiatives in small rural communities where we may partner with a local organisation.

Highways and Byways (formerly the John Wallis Foundation) continues the work of the Missionary Sisters of Service which is an Australian congregation founded by Father John Wallis in 1944.

Highways and Byways is a national organisation based in Melbourne, Victoria.

Our mission

Highways and Byways continues the vision and mission of the Missionary Sisters of Service,

acknowledging and connecting with the Indigenous people of this land,

reaching out in hope and love to people socially and geographically isolated,

strengthening community relationships and cultural identity,

contributing to the regeneration and healing of our earth,

developing local leadership and empowering people to respond the challenges that confront us.

our history

Highways and Byways is the initiative of the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS).  Their motto, “Into the highways and byways”, has taken that community into many areas of Australia, reaching out to people in all kinds of places and situations, from the city to the outback and beyond, always with a pastoral approach and a deep respect for the dignity of every person.


John Corcoran Wallis, was a priest in the Archdiocese of Hobart.  In 1944 he founded a community of women whose mission would take them into the highways and byways of Australia and beyond. 

Father John died in 2001 at the age of 91.  A fuller outline of his life can be found here

Our Key Documents

Highways and Byways acknowledges the lifelong trauma of abuse victims, survivors and their families, the failure of the Catholic Church to protect, believe and respond justly to children and vulnerable adults, and the consequent breaches of community trust.

Highways and Byways is committed to fostering a culture of safety and care for children and vulnerable adults.

Annual Reports 

The below Annual Report links will download the annual report to your device or computer.

Keep up to date with all the latest news of Highways and Byways.